Disneyland Snow White ride criticised for kissing without consent

Disneyland’s new Snow White ride draws consent backlash over ‘problematic’ sleeping kiss

‘Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue?’ says review of new Disney ride

Justin Vallejo
New York
Wednesday 05 May 2021 11:50
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Disneyland is the latest battleground in the cancel culture war after a new ride was deemed problematic over Prince Charming kissing Snow White "without consent".

The California theme park reopened after pandemic lockdowns with the revamped "Snow White’s Enchanted Wish" ride featuring an animatronic recreation of the fabled smooch.

In a review of the new ride for SFGate.com, the outlet’s managing editor Katie Dowd, and contributor Julie Tremaine, wrote that the kiss should be removed like other "problematic scenes from rides like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain’.

"Haven’t we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue? That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn’t been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK?" they wrote.

"It’s hard to understand why the Disneyland of 2021 would choose to add a scene with such old fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman."

Disney announced earlier this year that it would redesign The Jungle Cruise to replace the "Trader Sam" character, a salesman of shrunken heads. Splash Mountain, meanwhile, was being overhauled to remove stereotypes. The company has been contacted for comment.

The SFGate.com story quickly went viral as critics and defenders seized on the review as either an example of the left-wing cancel culture mob ripping apart history or the right wing’s latest obsession after Dr Seuss (which ended publication of insensitive books) and Mr Potato Head (dropping the gendered "Mr".)

Fox News host Todd Piro on Monday compared Prince Charming’s kiss on a poisoned Snow White to saving someone’s life with CPR.

As the classic Disney story goes, Snow White is poisoned by an evil queen jealous of her beauty. She remains comatose until the spell is broken by love’s first kiss. She and Prince Charming live happily ever after.

"So for those two people who wrote that story, if you’re ill and somebody needs to perform CPR on you, are you going to get upset about consent? No. You’re not going to have an option in the matter," he said.

"And I don’t think anybody is looking at the Prince Charming kiss of Snow White and saying, boy, that’s a microcosm of date rape culture in college… I’m not saying date rape culture in college is a positive thing. I have a little daughter right upstairs here in my home. Absolutely don’t want that but let’s disaggregate this. This is a cartoon, this is fable from many, many years. It is not what we all fear as dads of daughters."

While the writers, Ms Dowd and Ms Tremaine, did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment on the response to their review, they acknowledged in their piece that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is not, in fact, real life.

"A kiss he gives to her without her consent, while she’s asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it’s happening," they wrote.

"Still, with the twinkling lights all around and the gorgeous special effects, that final scene is beautifully executed — as long as you’re watching it as a fairy tale, not a life lesson."

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